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Best Famous Carl Sandburg Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Carl Sandburg poems. This is a select list of the best famous Carl Sandburg poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Carl Sandburg poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Carl Sandburg poems.

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Written by Vachel Lindsay | |

Our Mother Pocahontas

 (Note: — Pocahontas is buried at Gravesend, England.
) "Pocahontas' body, lovely as a poplar, sweet as a red haw in November or a pawpaw in May — did she wonder? does she remember — in the dust — in the cool tombs?" CARL SANDBURG.
I Powhatan was conqueror, Powhatan was emperor.
He was akin to wolf and bee, Brother of the hickory tree.
Son of the red lightning stroke And the lightning-shivered oak.
His panther-grace bloomed in the maid Who laughed among the winds and played In excellence of savage pride, Wooing the forest, open-eyed, In the springtime, In Virginia, Our Mother, Pocahontas.
Her skin was rosy copper-red.
And high she held her beauteous head.
Her step was like a rustling leaf: Her heart a nest, untouched of grief.
She dreamed of sons like Powhatan, And through her blood the lightning ran.
Love-cries with the birds she sung, Birdlike In the grape-vine swung.
The Forest, arching low and wide Gloried in its Indian bride.
Rolfe, that dim adventurer Had not come a courtier.
John Rolfe is not our ancestor.
We rise from out the soul of her Held in native wonderland, While the sun's rays kissed her hand, In the springtime, In Virginia, Our Mother, Pocahontas.
II She heard the forest talking, Across the sea came walking, And traced the paths of Daniel Boone, Then westward chased the painted moon.
She passed with wild young feet On to Kansas wheat, On to the miners' west, The echoing cañons' guest, Then the Pacific sand, Waking, Thrilling, The midnight land.
.
.
.
On Adams street and Jefferson — Flames coming up from the ground! On Jackson street and Washington — Flames coming up from the ground! And why, until the dawning sun Are flames coming up from the ground? Because, through drowsy Springfield sped This red-skin queen, with feathered head, With winds and stars, that pay her court And leaping beasts, that make her sport; Because, gray Europe's rags august She tramples in the dust; Because we are her fields of corn; Because our fires are all reborn From her bosom's deathless embers, Flaming As she remembers The springtime And Virginia, Our Mother, Pocahontas.
III We here renounce our Saxon blood.
Tomorrow's hopes, an April flood Come roaring in.
The newest race Is born of her resilient grace.
We here renounce our Teuton pride: Our Norse and Slavic boasts have died: Italian dreams are swept away, And Celtic feuds are lost today.
.
.
.
She sings of lilacs, maples, wheat, Her own soil sings beneath her feet, Of springtime And Virginia, Our Mother, Pocahontas.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Slippery

 THE SIX month child
Fresh from the tub
Wriggles in our hands.
This is our fish child.
Give her a nickname: Slippery.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Smoke

 I SIT in a chair and read the newspapers.
Millions of men go to war, acres of them are buried, guns and ships broken, cities burned, villages sent up in smoke, and children where cows are killed off amid hoarse barbecues vanish like finger-rings of smoke in a north wind.
I sit in a chair and read the newspapers.


More great poems below...

Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Lost

 DESOLATE and lone
All night long on the lake
Where fog trails and mist creeps,
The whistle of a boat
Calls and cries unendingly,
Like some lost child
In tears and trouble
Hunting the harbor's breast
And the harbor's eyes.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

The Road and the End

 I SHALL foot it
Down the roadway in the dusk,
Where shapes of hunger wander
And the fugitives of pain go by.
I shall foot it In the silence of the morning, See the night slur into dawn, Hear the slow great winds arise Where tall trees flank the way And shoulder toward the sky.
The broken boulders by the road Shall not commemorate my ruin.
Regret shall be the gravel under foot.
I shall watch for Slim birds swift of wing That go where wind and ranks of thunder Drive the wild processionals of rain.
The dust of the traveled road Shall touch my hands and face.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Ready to Kill

 TEN minutes now I have been looking at this.
I have gone by here before and wondered about it.
This is a bronze memorial of a famous general Riding horseback with a flag and a sword and a revolver on him.
I want to smash the whole thing into a pile of junk to be hauled away to the scrap yard.
I put it straight to you, After the farmer, the miner, the shop man, the factory hand, the fireman and the teamster, Have all been remembered with bronze memorials, Shaping them on the job of getting all of us Something to eat and something to wear, When they stack a few silhouettes Against the sky Here in the park, And show the real huskies that are doing the work of the world, and feeding people instead of butchering them, Then maybe I will stand here And look easy at this general of the army holding a flag in the air, And riding like hell on horseback Ready to kill anybody that gets in his way, Ready to run the red blood and slush the bowels of men all over the sweet new grass of the prairie.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Grass

 PILE the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work— I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor: What place is this? Where are we now? I am the grass.
Let me work.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Chicago

 Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders;

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your
painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them: Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities; Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness, Bareheaded, Shoveling, Wrecking, Planning, Bulding, breaking, rebuilding, Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth, Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs, Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle, Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people, Laughing! Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, pround to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Fog

 THE fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Happiness

 I ASKED the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell
me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplaines river And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

The Junk Man

 I AM glad God saw Death
And gave Death a job taking care of all who are tired
of living:

When all the wheels in a clock are worn and slow and
the connections loose
And the clock goes on ticking and telling the wrong time
from hour to hour
And people around the house joke about what a bum
clock it is,
How glad the clock is when the big Junk Man drives
his wagon
Up to the house and puts his arms around the clock and
says:
"You don't belong here,
You gotta come
Along with me,"
How glad the clock is then, when it feels the arms of the
Junk Man close around it and carry it away.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Jazz Fantasia

 DRUM on your drums, batter on your banjoes, sob on the long cool winding saxophones.
Go to it, O jazzmen.
Sling your knuckles on the bottoms of the happy tin pans, let your trombones ooze, and go hushahusha-hush with the slippery sand-paper.
Moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome tree-tops, moan soft like you wanted somebody terrible, cry like a racing car slipping away from a motorcycle cop, bang-bang! you jazzmen, bang altogether drums, traps, banjoes, horns, tin cans—make two people fight on the top of a stairway and scratch each other’s eyes in a clinch tumbling down the stairs.
Can the rough stuff … now a Mississippi steamboat pushes up the night river with a hoo-hoo-hoo-oo … and the green lanterns calling to the high soft stars … a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills … go to it, O jazzmen.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

The Harbor

 PASSING through huddled and ugly walls
By doorways where women
Looked from their hunger-deep eyes,
Haunted with shadows of hunger-hands,
Out from the huddled and ugly walls,
I came sudden, at the city's edge,
On a blue burst of lake,
Long lake waves breaking under the sun
On a spray-flung curve of shore;
And a fluttering storm of gulls,
Masses of great gray wings
And flying white bellies
Veering and wheeling free in the open


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Bones

 Sling me under the sea.
Pack me down in the salt and wet.
No farmer's plow shall touch my bones.
No Hamlet hold my jaws and speak How jokes are gone and empty is my mouth.
Long, green-eyed scavengers shall pick my eyes, Purple fish play hide-and-seek, And I shall be song of thunder, crash of sea, Down on the floors of salt and wet.
Sling me .
.
.
under the sea.


Written by Carl Sandburg | |

Hate

 ONE man killed another.
The saying between them had been “I’d give you the shirt off my back.
” The killer wept over the dead.
The dead if he looks back knows the killer was sorry.
It was a shot in one second of hate out of ten years of love.
Why is the sun a red ball in the six o’clock mist? Why is the moon a tumbling chimney?… tumbling … tumbling … “I’d give you the shirt off my back” … And I’ll kill you if my head goes wrong.